Using Tiger's Eye stone as an artist's pigment is a relatively recent development. Either unknown to or overlooked by artists of the past, it is just recently finding its way onto the modern day watercolorist's palette, despite being a commonly available and inexpensive mineral that has been known and used at least ceremonially since antiquity.
Welcome to Greenleaf & Blueberry Professional Handmade Watercolors
We are a tiny Artist and Chemist owned company, specializing in handmade supplies and materials for the traveling artist. Everything we create is held to the highest possible quality standards and made with obsessive attention to detail. We offer Artisanal Handmade Watercolors, Travel Watercolor Palettes, Hand-Carved Paintbrushes, Digital Paintable Projects, carefully curated supplies, and lots of information on our Blog.
We are based in rugged Western Colorado.
Single Pigment Colors Without Fillers:
Every single one of our Artisanal Handmade Watercolors contains just one pigment - and no fillers.
Not using fillers is a significant detail. Fillers are standard practice in the paint industry as they keep cost down and are often not noticed by consumers. However, this effects pigment load - and how often you need to purchase new colors.
When we say our colors have a maximum pigment load - we mean it.
Offering single pigment colors means no color mixing surprises for you. The greater the number of different pigments involved in a pan of watercolor, the less predictably and less cleanly it will mix with other colors. Every pigment displays unique handling characteristics, which become less discernable when masked by additional pigments. We leave mixing decisions up to you, which places the creative control where we believe it belongs: in your hands.
When we say our colors are handmade... we mean it.
Every batch of artisanal watercolors we create is made by hand using muller and slab, just like you see here. Using muller and slab creates a different physical environment than mixers, rollers, etc. This ensures every pigment particle is coated and suspended in our carefully prepared proprietary binder. This method also allows us to react to the pigment on our slab and make necessary adjustments. Natural pigments are dynamic, and carry different compositions and ratios of accessory minerals from batch to batch, depending on the precise location and depth from which a particular sample has been retrieved.
Colors Named for the Single Pigment Each Contains...
Our colors are named after the one pigment they each contain. They are not named after their hue or what their hue resembles. What this approach lacks in whimsey, it compensates for in illumination, leaving you without a shred of doubt about which pigment you are using. We understand how important it is for artists to become intimately acquainted with the pigments they use, and that the development of specific favorites is integral to stylistic and technical choices.
Natural pigments, which are the majority of our offering, also include the country of origin in their name. Any enthusiastic user of the pigment Green Earth or Red Ochre knows that though they bear the same name, samples from different locations vary widely, exhibiting different hues and handling characteristics. Knowing place of origin allows you continuity of hue, handling, and technique.
Our synthetic pigments are also named for the single pigment they contain. Modern synthetic pigments generally receive their names from their chemical structure. While these names carry less meaning to non-chemists, we believe it is important for you to know precicesly which pigment you are using. So even our synthetic colors bear the precise name of the pigment they contain, resplendant in their polysyllabic glory.
Range of Pan Sizes & Options
We offer our colors in five different pan sizes:
Standard Full Pan
Natural Seashell Pan
Meet the Makers
Salutations! I'm Jess Greenleaf, an artist living at the edge of the Rockies in Western Colorado. My husband Matt and I founded G&B back in 2011. Between his background in Chemistry and my experience in the art supply industry and Art History -- and our mutual love of wilderness adventure, our line of colors was born...
Some of our most frequently asked questions: What is the difference between student and artist grade paint? Which is the best choice for beginners and why the price difference?
I'm going to dive into answers for each of these questions in this article so that you can decide which is best for YOU.
Smalt is an artist's pigment seldom found in modern palettes or paint lines, despite historically being one of the most important blue pigments, used by such titans of art history as Vermeer, Rembrandt, and J.M.W. Turner.
Most artists, if they are even familiar with Smalt at all, have at best a hazy notion of what it is, and what little is known is shaped by its use in oil painting, which, if you are a watercolorist, will offer a distorted view at best.